What are the best bets at Haydock on Saturday?
Punters are faced with five ultra competitive £50,000 handicaps at Haydock this afternoon and never one to shirk a challenge, I’ve picked one out in each that should go well at a decent price.
13:25 ApolloBet Weekly Golf Refunds Challenger Mares’ Hurdle Series Final (Handicap), 2m2f191yds
Plenty of recent winning / placed form to go on and Harry Fry’s SECRET DOOR has been knocking on the door, finishing runner-up on her last three starts. Out of a dam who twice won over 3m and placed in an Irish point-to-point on her racecourse debut, she is going to be suited by further in time, but they’ll likely go a fast pace in this and her stamina could prove a real asset. Daryl Jacob is also likely to give her a positive ride, as he did on her handicap debut at Market Rasen last time, where she was headed approaching the last by the reopposing winner Card Game, who is 9lb worse off here. Her stable is in cracking form too.
Back Secret Door @ 7/1 Betfair
14:00 Challenger Middle Distance Chase Series Final (Handicap), 2m3f203yds
Jacob might not be hanging around in this either as his mount BALLYBOLLEY appeared to appreciate being given an attacking ride when not beaten far into third at Kempton just seven days ago, only losing second close home. That took his record over fences to 0-6 but he’s now run well in defeat on his last two starts and surely has a handicap in him off his current mark of 129. He reached a peak of 138 over hurdles, winning twice in that sphere, and he has enough form on ‘good’ to suggest he will relish the drying ground here.
Back Ballybolley @ 7/1 Sky Bet
14:35 ApolloBet Cash Back If 2nd Challenger Stayers Hurdle Series Final (Handicap), 2m6f177yds
The fact Bookmakers are going 8/1 the field here tells you this is a tough puzzle to solve, so PETETHEPEAR is just a hopeful choice. Placed in a couple of Irish point-to-points, he has finished in the frame three times for his current trainer Stuart Edmunds, including on his handicap debut at Ascot last month. Given a positive ride on that occasion , he was only headed approaching the last before finishing third and today’s slightly shorter trip should therefore be in his favour. Off bottom weight and with the stable flying – Edmunds’ last eight runners have finished 14152213 – he ought to give us a good run for our money.
Back Petethepear each-way @ 12/1 bet365
15:10 Challenger Staying Chase Series Final (Handicap), 3m24yds
Likely favourite Gonalston Cloud would prefer softer ground and has to be taken on with plenty of viable alternatives to choose from. He had BAKU BAY nine and a half lengths behind in third when winning at Doncaster in January and that horse really ought to turn the tables here with a whopping 23lb pull in the weights. Ali Stronge’s charge has since finished runner-up behind the progressive and Aintree-bound Mystifiable in a 2m6f race at Newbury, giving the impression he would appreciate this longer trip, and there may be more improvement on him after just three starts over fences. At a double-figure price, he’ll do for me.
Back Baku Bay each-way @ 10/1 Paddy Power
15:45 Challenger Two Mile Hurdle Series Final (Handicap), 1m7f144yds
Another impossible-looking handicap but trainer Richard Woolacott was quick to name this race as a target after his FLORESCO won a qualifier at Wincanton in January off a 5lb lower mark and the six-year-old can be excused a below-par effort on very soft ground at Chepstow last time, with a mistake at the last not helping his cause. Now reunited with Daryl Jacob, who was on board for his last victory, and with the better ground in his favour, he ought to give a good account and a place – there are four up for grabs – would ensure a tidy profit.
Back Floresco each-way @ 14/1 Sky Bet